Schools-based malaria model
ADPP has implemented schools-based malaria control programmes since 2008. The basic concept is that groups of students learn about malaria prevention, and then communicate to their peers, families, and communities. The projects are implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and use a special teachers’ manual on malaria developed by ADPP and the Ministry of Health.
The strategy is to establish a network of trained teachers, approximately 5 per primary school, who give lessons to their classes. The teachers are trained by project staff with assistance from the local health authorities. Their students, who are in third to ninth grades, learn key messages about malaria: recognise the symptoms, seek treatment early, sleep under an insecticide treated net (ITN). In addition, the teachers organise 2 or more Malaria Control Patrols of approximately 20 students at each school, as well a as a Malaria Control Committee, consisting of teachers, students, parents and community representatives. At each participating school, the Malaria Control Teacher and Malaria Control Committee carry out activities with the patrols, including information campaigns, open days, games, theatre, and song to pass along malaria messages to the wider community. Malaria Control Patrol members visit families to offer assistance and information on malaria, including how to use and care for the nets properly.
Trainee teachers at nearby ADPP teacher training schools are also trained and they support activities in the schools in the project, or give malaria lessons in other schools where they carry out their teaching practice and of course, have the capacity to continue doing so after graduation.
This model has many benefits:
- Training teachers in malaria prevention means that pupils receive pedagogically sound and medically correct information.
- Children are easily motivated to pass information on through song, theatre, games: suitable methods in communities with limited literacy.
- Health Authorities ensure the teachers are appropriately trained and Educational Authorities mobilize schools to take active part.
- Schoolchildren engage with many families in each community.
The result is that this model provided an integrated, community-wide approach to malaria prevention and is a successful community engagement strategy that could be integrated into other health interventions in other Provinces in Angola.